Theranos, the health-tech and medical lab startup, was once one of the most hyped companies to come out of Silicon Valley. In 2014, after catching the attention of high-profile investors, the company reached a valuation of $9 billion. Following several employee and journalistic leaks in 2015, however, the public began to see the company for what it was, a fraud. An October 3, 2016 Inside Compliance article titled “Theranos: New Compliance Program Hopes to Save the Company,” was written following Theranos’ appointment of two outside executives to oversee regulatory, quality, and compliance standards. It is now clear that these efforts to save Theranos were too little too late, but we see some useful takeaways from Theranos’ downfall. This article will explore the key lessons learned as it relates to leadership, ethics, and compliance.
Corporate success was once measured by the numbers on a balance sheet. Today, however, corporations have entered a new era where morals and ethics are increasingly important. Whether this change is a product of outside influence or internal conflict, there is a new trend in corporate culture. Given the business expertise and media-friendly personalities of many CEOs, they may be the leaders chosen to lead the change.
Regulatory compliance requires investment, but it can also mean opportunity. The level of investment looks different depending on the industry. One consistency covering all industries impacted by regulation is the potential benefit resulting from relationships with compliance officers and regulatory officials. Embracing compliance means embracing the relationships that follow.
Last year the #MeToo movement swept across the country, sparking national attention and debate. Fast forward 11 months and we still grapple with breaking news which exposes the next unsuspecting top executive of workplace misconduct. Victims are finally breaking their silence, leading corporations to reassess corporate culture. In this modern age, compliance is not enough. Corporations might need to reconsider decades old written policies and training programs to ensure safety, success, and growth in the workplace.